2019-03-27: Questions and Chocobos

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  • Log: 2019-03-27: Questions and Chocobos
  • Cast: Margaret, Ivan
  • Where: Kilika
  • Date: March 27, 2019
  • Summary: Ivan finds Margaret giving her new chocobos a piece of her mind, and information is traded about Luca and the Blue Star.

===========================<* Kilika - Town Center *>===========================

Kilika is an island off the southern coast of the Spiran mainland, consisting of a small port and village, a large jungle and a Temple of Yevon. The island is renowned for being the hometown of High Summoner Ohalland, who was a star blitzballer before retiring from the game to complete his Pilgrimage and defeat Sin. As a result of this history, the Beasts are one of the most-loved teams in the entire league, and even rival blitz players will stop to pray at the Kilika Temple before a particularly critical game.

The port of Kilika was recently ravaged following an attack by Sin, and the surviving residents are slowly rebuilding. They have received unexpected support in the form of the outlanders who serve the false goddess Althena. A few dozen soldiers and craftsmen are using their strange arts - as well as old-fashioned skill - to help with restoration. The Temple of Yevon has put out the word that this assistance will be tolerated so long as the Guardsmen refrain from proselytizing their false creed; an uneasy sort of feeling hangs over the entire village as a result.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXsmMuXLtuQ
<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.


The "Hounds of Hell" have set up their camp not far from where their ship docked, which makes sense because that is where all their stuff is going. They have aimed to help with the reconstruction effort, which, in the opinion of


is kind of not exactly the sort of thing they're good at, not so much because she hates the idea of building things as that they are a bunch of mercenaries, magicians, and monster-wranglers.

The monster-wrangling is serving some use, at least, because they were able to build an improvised pen into which elite operatives of their force, using the power of running really fast WITH MAGIC, were able to round up...

"By the goddess, they're hideous," Margaret says from her seat atop of a stack of crates. "Those coarse yellow feathers... that creepy, hostile, draconic look... those beaks that remind me more of a squid than anything... ugh! And the way they carry themselves. I feel like they're hunting me. And don't even get me started on the smell. I don't want to smell it any more," Margaret concludes.

She looks at her pipe.

She tilts it over and dumps the ash out into the waters of Kilika harbor. Her tongue slides between her rouged lips to make a quiet 'thbpt' sound of disgust.

"Do any of you have a light?" she says, acrimonously.

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan returns from Luca and his surprise run-in with his sister more in a mood to break things than to build them, but apparently this reconstruction business is his life now for the forseeable future. During the time he was scouting ahead, it appears that Margaret acquired a small flock of monster birds, and is now criticizing them from on high.

He slows as he makes his way by her, wanting to see if the creatures merit the passionate complaints.

...He finds himself powerfully persuaded to agree with the smell one, though he sort of appreciates that they look ready to fight.

"What are they for?" he asks.

...He actually does have a light, as it happens, but is not quite desperate enough for an excuse to set something on fire as to offer it. The Ghaleon experience is still too fresh.

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

"The birds? They're called cuccobos or something," Margaret says without looking. As she speaks she reaches into a nearby leather pouch and digs out a dense wad of what is certainly some sort of tobacco analogue, mashing it into the pipe as she says, "They don't have horses - maybe the climate here kills them - so they use these horrible things for riding."

"Kweh," says a chocobo, looking at Margaret with wounded eyes.

Margaret curls her lip at it.

The chocobo slumps, its feelings hurt.

"That's right," she says, "keep moving."

NOW she looks at Ivan. "Oh, I recall you - you were with the Dragonmaster's staff, weren't you? One moment." She slides off the crate in a rustle of dress. "How do you do. Have you been travelling? Reconnoitering the local networks?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan knows little about the woman, aside from the fact that she commands a menacingly named company and seems to be a mage, but she has the sort of presence that makes him assume she's likely rich, powerful, important, or some combination of the three. He's wary of her imperious attitude, though if he were a bit more self aware, he might realize he was kind of enjoying the routine of bullying the chocobos.

More pressingly, he has just gotten her attention and he probably isn't prepared for that.

He makes a disproportionately uncomfortable face at the not-particularly-personal question. "Yes. And...yes. Something like that. There's a trading hub nearby called Luca. ...You're Lady Margaret, right?"

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

Margaret sits upright at some key words. Well, straightens; she already got up.

"A trading hub," she says. "Tell me more. And YES! That's right." She leans forwards slightly, beaming. "I do tend to make an impression, don't I? You're... let me think... Ivan! Is that right?" If not, Margaret thinks, it's Ivor, for sure.

"What's it like, there? I gather their money is different, but do you have any insights on the trading situation? (Not that I expect we're going to do this in the long term, but you know how it is; crusades aren't won on prayer alone, except when they are.)"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan relaxes a bit when he realizes she only asked him about the information he gathered because she... wanted to know about the information he gathered. Though she is still being very intense about it. And she knows his name? He doesn't think he likes what that says about how noticeable he's been, but it does seem like a sign she's not uncompromisingly snobbish.

He looks off to one side while he chews over an answer.

"It's... well... good, I think. The place is huge. You wouldn't think that it came from the same country as this little port. I mean, except that people are still barely wearing any clothes."

If the sellsword has experienced any discomforts traveling about in Spira's balmy weather clad all in black, he doesn't show it.

"The money is called gil, I have, uh, come across a bit of it if you're curious what it looks like...I don't know what trade goods you're interested in -- they had some really nice weapons. And everyone's obsessed with something called Blitzball, which looked awful, but I mean they were selling a lot of tie-in goods."

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

"Huge? How huge," Margaret says, before frowning as Ivan says 'they are barely wearing any clothes.' She feels, perhaps, seen.

She reaches back with her free hand and tosses her long black hair back with a deep breathing sigh. "I don't know," she says. "We have odds, sods, and assorted glass beads and pieces of metal that we had thought we might trade if, Althena forbid, we ended up back on Filgaia. Which is a real place, incidentally, if you haven't been briefed."

"Do you have a match or anything," she adds, waggling her fancy-pants rich-lady pipe a little. The dangling eagle feather charm jingles.

"What kind of weapons, though? Is it the sort we're used to or is it something idiosyncratic? And you said you watched this... Blitzball? I've heard it mentioned, some kind of a local pursuit... I'm told it was invented int his very town, something like that."

A pause.

"Tie in goods," Margaret says, brow knitting. "I don't understand. Explain what you mean. As in... blitzballs you could take home for your child? Whatever those are."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

When Margaret seems to see something of herself in the comment about revealing clothes, Ivan flusters a bit and adopts an even more standoffish air as a sort of nonverbal claim that he hasn't noticed anything relevant. He is quickly distracted by the challenge to somehow quantify the city's hugeness.

"Well--it's got bridges so that streets can go over other streets," he attempts. "And a big stadium with a bubble kind of thing on it."

While he was thinking, a rain of other questions descended. "Normal weapons--swords and halberds and things, but unique designs. Well made. Some materials I haven't seen before. And yeah, they've got the balls for sale--and like banners and balloons and shirts and things."

He huffs a little at the reiterated request about the pipe, but decides there isn't any overt hostility in it.

He makes a quick motion with his hand, and a small, fizzing and crackling star of flame sparks to life. He sends it toward her on an ambient wind, on a slow enough course that she can catch it in her pipe if she desires.

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

Margaret's brow knits. "That means it must be enormous," she says, "unless it's a ruin -" And she twists the pipe round to catch the thrown spark as she says "Thaaaaank you," and then rotates it around a little as the incense-oid smoke rises upwards.

As she sucks on the tip she contemplates.

"Hm," She says.

"Unique designs. Well made. Amazing, really. This place is very rich - have you had that feeling?" She then exhales towards the sea, away from Ivan, as she waves the now-lit pipe around. "I've seen Filgaia and that was honestly half dead, though I don't know if they're just complaining that they have to learn to live in the desert. But here! Here, it seems vibrant, wealthy by comparison. Even in our realms we have some rough patches. Neo-Vane's glory is sustained by the mines, the great castles and towns live on the labor of the small folk in the fields..."

Margaret trails off.

Her eyes turn back to Ivan.

"Shirts," she says.

"They wouldn't happen to be - let's see - imagine a singlet, but it covered -" Margaret uses one purple-painted thumbnail to indicate what might be considered the 'T-Shirt' zone on her body. "This - a single thing, you pull it over your head, and they make it in several shapes for child and man and woman. And with some sort of design on the front?"

After another drag she adds, "How far is it? Are there any tolls or anything on the way, or did you take the wilds?"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

More very specific descriptive requests! Ivan is feeling a bit fatigued, and his patience is fraying.

"Yes, very wealthy! Why does it matter exactly what the shirts look like!"

Finally, with some time for other bits to sink in, he cuts in, accusingly.

"You've been to the Blue Star!"

How can she be here quizzing him relentlessly on the minutia of some mundane nearby city when SHE HAS BEEN TO THE MOON?! Well, she outranks him, for one thing, so of course the information would tend to flow in that direction. Doesn't change the fact that the Blue Star is suddenly very relevant to his interests as a place where apparently sometimes your twin sister goes in order to have an epiphany about life and then completely depart from your moral sphere.

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

"Because someone on - eh? - Yes!" Margaret says, before she suddenly straightens up.

She grins at Ivan. "I've been there, yes. I was with the White Knight when the Destiny ended up there through horrid mischance. We were stuck for an interminable period." Another drag, and she muses as she looks at the sky, "I wonder how the mission in Krosse is doing."

"They're probably fine," Margaret decides. Back to Ivan. "Are you curious about the Blue Star? Ask me anything. You've told me many amazing things. I owe you one, my lad!"

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

"You did ask me a lot of things." he affirms, seeming somehow almost haunted by the experience.

He considers this (one?) special question he can ask for a time, and then takes on a look of resolve.

"Was it, like... a really inspiring experience or something? Did you become a better person or make unlikely friends?"

It was... probably just being a world away from Lubov that did it, nothing more special needed than that. But it helps to have a scapegoat, so why not blame the moon.

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

Margaret takes a deep lingering suck on her pipe and exhales again.

This goes on long enough that Ivan might think he's being dismissed.

"You know," she says, "I want to say something dismissive because I hated the place - I still feel like I have grit in me from it, and not in a good way - but if I hadn't seen some of their great machines, I would have stagnated in my magic." Her eyes turn back towards Ivan. "And THAT would have been inconcievable. After all, it's like a shark's body - if you hold a shark still in the water, it will slowly strangle. Just like us!"


"Anyway," Margaret continues, "beyond that, I met some people, yes, but I believe they all died horribly in Azado."

<Pose Tracker> Ivan has posed.

Ivan waits for the answer, and when it comes, he's silent for a few beats, taking all of that in. He isn't sure what he was expecting to hear, but machines? Magic? Slowly strangling sharks? Not to mention, the horrible deaths of multiple friends or acquaintances.

He has a strange pang of guilt for bringing it up.

"All right, thanks," he responds, with a faint wince.

From here, he will either become obsessed with that casual bit of tragedy or end up barraged with more questions about Luca. It seems like it's time to flee.

"... I should go see if anyone needs help knocking their house the rest of the way down so they can rebuild it."

<Pose Tracker> Margaret has posed.

"Go with the goddess. Come by for signals practice later if you're bored," Margaret tells Ivan.

Signals practice is absolutely not thinly disguised band practice.